I love writing this blog. People email me to share what they did well on a day that counts. You can feel the hospitality vibes through their email and their pleasure at providing a great meal for their families. The yummy turkey photo is from friend Cassandra Birocco of Adlife/Sirculr.
Here are two communiqués from this year’s Thanksgiving. I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving weekend and good health as we move into the busy holidays. If you need any ideas, just email me.
This year: I’m thankful that you read this blog.
“A Huge Success on the Food Front”
Margaret lives in Albuquerque with her husband, Clark. It was just the two of them so they could just do whatever they wanted….and they did! Note her Pecan Praline Pumpkin Pie Recipe and what she did with the turkey.
We delayed the big Thanksgiving meal. I made appetizers at noon to have with wine while I cooked. We were so full on the appetizers that we thought we’d have turkey and fixings the next evening. And yes, we watched football. Yeah Redskins! The Patriot game was quite entertaining, unless you were a Jets fan.
I did something different with the turkey this year that worked out great. I cooked a turkey breast because a whole turkey is too much and we do not like dark meat. I made the dressing in a large Dutch oven, and then put the turkey breast on top of the dressing. Roasted it the first half with the lid on and then with the lid off. The turkey was moist. The dressing directly underneath the turkey was moist like when it’s stuffed in the bird. The dressing not underneath the turkey was crispy like when it’s cooked in a casserole. And I made endive-walnut-gorgonzola salad which was yummy. Clark made peas cooked with prosciutto and mushrooms. Delicious! A huge success on the food front.
Pecan Pumpkin Pie Recipe
“I got this recipe from Good Morning America years ago.”
Make a Crisco-based crust (I made a butter-based crust yesterday and it didn’t work — the praline mixture reacted with the butter in the crust, leaving the crust like a cracker.)
Mix in food processor: 3/4 cup brown sugar and 4 tablespoons butter; add 3/4 cup pecan pieces. Pulse to just mix in the pecans.
Spread the praline mixture on the pie crust. Set aside.
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1-1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 teaspoon each of cloves and mace
- 1/2 teaspoon each of ground ginger, cinnamon, salt
- 1 cup evaporated milk
Mix the filling with mixer. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until firm but still jiggling.
“I Made the Best Stuffing for Thanksgiving”
Bobby G. from Raleigh, North Carolina, is always up for trying something new. When he gets a win, he emails it to me. No doubt this stuffing must have been great. It looks basic, but when you eat Bobby G’s cooking, there is nothing basic-tasting about it. Secret ingredient here: apples.
Bobby G’s Herb Stuffing
- 6 cups crusty white and/or wheat bread torn into about one-inch cubed chunks (allow to sit out for a while and get a little hard)
- 4 cups cornbread – torn up
- 2 medium onions – chopped
- 4 celery stalks – thinly sliced
- 1 stick butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 2 large apples chopped (Pink Lady or a tart apple
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth
Place bread into a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat and add onion and celery. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook and stir frequently for about 10 minutes then add apples. Stir and cook for a minute then add the parsley, thyme, and sage, and cook for another minute.
Pour the mixture over the bread, and toss lightly. Add 1 1/2 cup of chicken broth and lightly toss. Salt to taste. Mixture should be pretty moist but not mushy. Add more broth to meet desired consistency. Refrigerate to allow favors to blend.
Place stuffing in casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the top is browned. I like to stuff my turkey with some of the stuffing. Then when the turkey is finished, remove the stuffing and mix with the remainder of the stuffing that was browned in the oven.